Farewelling Teresa McNamara from youth ministry

At the November Diocesan Youth Mass, Teresa McNamara was formally farewelled and thanked for her ministry.  We share below the words shared by Mico Padilla, currently the youngest member of the Auckland Catholic Diocesan Youth Ministry team:

“Tonight we formally farewell a leader, a mentor and a friend who has served as team leader for Auckland Catholic Youth and Young Adults Ministry for the past 8 years.  For those who know Teresa, she loves asking the youngest person in any group to speak first – so to keep up with that tradition, my name is Mico and I am currently the youngest member serving on the ACYM team.  One of Teresa’s many gifts includes putting people on the spot and out of their comfort zone, so we thought we can only do the same.

In February 2011, Teresa McNamara answered ‘yes’ to the call to youth and young adult ministry in the Auckland Diocese and since then has selflessly shared her gifts, accompanied many in their faith journey, both young and young at heart and made the ministry a place for young people to feel welcomed and loved.

In 2017, Teresa travelled to Rome and returned not only feeling passionate and renewed but called to inspire our young people with two phrases:

‘Take a risk – and – Be courageous”.

As Christians, being called to Holiness takes risks and courage and in hindsight, Teresa has been living this out throughout her ministry.  We take this time to thank you Teresa for your yes, for your gifts, for the sacrifices you have made, for all the work you do behind the scenes, for your faith, for your leadership, for your friendship, for your accompaniment and for taking a risk and being courageous in following God’s call to lead our young people.

Although no gift could repay 8 years of ministry, we humbly present you a hand carved koru pounamu necklace to show our gratitude and appreciation.   In Maori culture, the pounamu or green stone, is a significant taonga, a treasured gift while the koru represents new beginnings, new life, growth and harmony.  Before presenting you the pounamu, we will pass it along to pray over.

We also present you with a photo collage to reflect the various communities and individuals you have accompanied throughout your time in ministry.

This may be the end of your ministry with youth and young adults but you will always be part of the ACYM whanau and will be missed.  Thank you for all you have done and may God bless you in your new role.’


In November Teresa began a new role with the Auckland Catholic Diocese as Projects, Systems and Performance Manager.